Belarus is successful in attracting foreign investments due to its strategic location, in addition to its inclusion in the Eurasian Economic Union, and excellent transport infrastructure. The presence of a highly skilled workforce aids in developing high-tech and export-oriented industries in the eastern European country.
Further, Belarus labor law facilitates the expansion of industries through employers’ rights:
- Conclude and dissolve employment contracts with employees
- Form and entering employer associations
- Demand from employees the accomplishment of conditions of the employment contract
- Involve employees in disciplinary and financial responsibility
- Enter into collective bargainings and sign collective agreements
The following article discusses the statutory requirements and compliance strategies for global companies and entrepreneurs to onboard and manage employees in Belarus.
Applicability of the Act
The labor code in Belarus applies to all employment relationships managed through a payroll. Whereas, Belarus labor act rules govern these relationships based on employment contracts in a differentiated manner depending on the exclusive nature of work and employee category.
Belarus employment rules do not cover the following activities
- Obligations of members of supervisory and other boards
- Control facilities of the organizations that are beyond the execution of the corresponding orders
- The obligations evolving from the agreements provided by the civil legislation
The labor code in Belarus prescribes written contracts to ensure employee-employer interests in the employment relationship. The contract pages must be signed, and both parties must retain a copy.
Belarus labor law allows employers to draft a terminal employment contract not exceeding five years for the accomplishment of certain work, or for employing professionals like lawyers, entrepreneurs, or part-time jobs.
Belarus employment rules mandate employers to mention the following:
- Name of the employer and employee
- Sign and date of execution of the contract
- Place of work
- Description of work
- Working hours and overtime compensation, leave schemes, and holidays
- Base salary, employee benefits, allowance, mandatory social security benefits
The labor code in Belarus nullifies the employment contract in the following cases:
- If concluded with a person younger than 14 years
- If negotiated with a person aged from 14 up to 16 years without written consent from one of the parents
- If signed under the influence of deception, violence, or threat
Key Provisions of the Act
The laws governing Belarus employment rules are primarily regulated by
- The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus
- The labor code in Belarus (amended in 2022)
- Belarus employment rules set by trade unions
- International laws on skilled immigration
Together, it constitutes the Belarus labor law, including working hours, leave entitlements, termination procedure, and employee data privacy.
- Belarus’ working hours law sets a default working time of 2037 annual hours for a five-day working week. Employers may set Belarus employment rules regarding work time as
- A maximum of eight hours of the work day and
- Seven hours on the days immediately preceding holidays or
- 40 hours per week
- The working hours per Belarus labor law may also be set at 2038 annual hours for a six-day working week.
- Maximum overtime working hours per Belarus labor law cannot exceed 12 hours daily. Additionally, employers must ensure overtime working hours are at most 10 hours weekly and 180 hours annually.
- Employers must pay a 200% regular salary for overtime work. Alternatively, Belarus employment law prescribes time off instead of payment for overtime.
- The labor code in Belarus legalizes the term “remote work” and extends all Belarus labor act rules to eligible employees.
- The labor regulations in Belarus do not prohibit employers from hiring foreign workers remotely.
- Employers may use software or technology during employment for employee surveillance and data protection.
Further, employers may negotiate specific regulations on work conditions, leave schemes, or contract termination.
The labor law of Belarus lists nine public holidays for commemorations and festivals. Employers must ensure fully paid non-working during public holidays,
Here is a breakdown of public holidays in Belarus:
- 1st and 2nd January – New Year’s Day
- 7th January – Orthodox Christmas
- 8th March – International Women’s Day
- Radonitsa – 9 days after Orthodox Easter
- 1st May – International Labour Day
- 9th May – Victory Day
- 3rd July – Independence Day
- 7th November – October Revolution Day
- 25th December – Catholic Christmas
This section covers statutory leave schemes for employees per the Belarus labor law –
- Belarus labor regulations prescribe 24 days of paid annual or vacation leave.
- Employers may allow employees to split annual leave into parts, one of which can be 14 days at maximum.
- The employment law in Belarus guide helps employers to carry forward unused leaves to the following year.
- Employers may extend paid annual leave benefits per the labor code in Belarus only to those employees with a minimum of six months of continuous service.
- Employers must extend 126 calendar days in Belarus as paid maternity leave to all eligible employees.
- Employers must extend paid maternity leave per Belarusian labor law to 140 calendar days in case of multiple births.
- The statutory paid maternity leave in Belarus for foreigners or nationals is followed by three years of unpaid leave, during which employers must ensure job security.
- Belarus labor law prescribes unpaid paternity leave of 14 days within the first six months of birth to eligible employees, fathers or step-fathers.
- Employers may sanction a one-time paternity leave upon written request from employees.
- The labor act rules of Belarus oblige employers to extend 30 days of paid leave to employees who become temporarily unavailable to work due to injury or sickness.
- Salaries during sick leave are funded by the Social Security System in Belarus, to which employers make mandatory premium contributions.
- Employees get 80% of their average daily salary during the first 12 days of sickness.
- Employees receive 70% of their average daily salary thereafter.
- The claim benefit for one person per month is capped at 300% of the national average monthly wage.
- Employers may seek a medical certificate to extend the applicable statutory benefits to employees.
Family care leave:
- Belarusian labor code mandates employers to extend one day of paid leave for a parent with a child under 18 with a disability.
- Belarusian labor code mandates employers to grant two days of paid leave to attend the funerals of family or close relatives.
The employment law in Belarus guides all employers to withhold income taxes and deduct from salaries towards social security contributions.
Employers must ensure the following payroll obligations in Belarus:
- Withhold income tax at a flat rate of 13%
- The proportion of employer’s social security contributions as per the labor regulations in Belarus –
- 28% – pension fund
- 6% – health insurance
- 0.10% to 1.00% – insurance for work-related injuries and occupational illnesses
- Additionally, employers must deduct 1% of salary towards employee contribution for pension fund premiums.
- Employers may fulfill all social security returns at the Belarusian Republican Unitary Insurance Enterprise (Belgosstrakh).
- Belarus labor law mandates employers to pay salaries in Belarusian rubles (BYN).
- Additionally, the common practice per Belarusian employment rules is to split salary payments into two: 40.00% of the salary paid in the middle of the current month and the remainder 60.00% at the beginning of the following month.
- The government of Belarus mandates employers to pay salaries over and above the minimum wage of BYN 554 for employing local talents.
- However, employers must ensure a monthly minimum wage for foreign nationals specializing in highly qualified work above BYN 7,234.35.
The labor code in Belarus limits the grounds on which employers can terminate the employment contract:
- On both employer and employee consent
- The inability of the employee or lack of qualification to meet business demands
- Employee absenteeism for more than four consecutive months (Employers cannot dismiss employees on maternity, or child care leave)
- Immoral employee behavior, including damage to the workplace
- In the event of a business reorganization or economic changes
- Employers can include a probation period of a maximum of three months. Both employer and employee can terminate the contract with prior notice of three days.
- Belarus labor act rules mandate employers to submit a termination notice one month in advance to respective employees requiring them to leave the organization.
- However, prior notice period requirements may vary depending on the employment type, status, and industry.
- Severance payments are already negotiated in the employment contract.
- However, Belarus employment law mandates a minimum severance payment of two weeks’ average salaries upon employment termination.
Data protection & privacy regulations
Belarusian labor law enforces certain employer obligations to protect employees’ personal data.
The following information must be provided to employees before consent is obtained:
- Employer name and location
- Information on the authorized third parties
- The consent duration term
- Any other information that makes the data collection & processing transparent
However, employers need not seek employee consent for personal data processing in the following circumstances:
- Until a request is received to stop the processing of previously disseminated personal data or to delete them
- Based on a contract with the employee for data processing
The employment law in Belarus guides employers to specify the following in the contract:
- The purposes of employee data processing
- The list of operations to be performed with the personal data by third parties, say for background checks or employee surveillance at the workplace
- Measures to ensure confidentiality and personal data protection
- Furthermore, the labor code in Belarus mandates employers to disclose the type of information sent to third parties upon employees’ request.
Belarusian labor law enforces penalties on employers for breaching certain labor regulations like
- Workplace safety – Employers must compensate for work-related injuries or occupational diseases.
- Employee privacy – Unlawful processing of employees’ data will entail administrative liability.
- Unlawful dismissal – Employers cannot dismiss employees for reasons other than those mentioned in the labor code in Belarus. Doing so will entail yet another administrative liability.
Compliance Strategies for Employers
Employers must carefully execute the provisions under the labor code in Belarus for hiring and managing employees in the country. Here are the most recommended employer compliance strategies to minimize risks and avoid legal liabilities:
Standard contracts and templates:
- Entrepreneurs and startups can use standard templates to meet basic employer obligations under Belarusian employment law like providing offer letters, employment contracts, employment records, payslips, or termination notices. Well-drafted employment documents will safeguard the employee-employer relationship.
Delegating hiring and managing to in-house HR manager:
- Hiring a Human Resources (HR) team with domain expertise in Belarusian labor law will help employers stay compliant.
- An in-house HR manager can frame company policies around employee benefits, including leave schemes and holidays, working hours, overtime compensation, social security benefits, and fair dismissal rules per labor act rules in Belarus.
- HR managers are responsible for employee training, and appraisals and also fulfill employer obligations during business restructuring.
Outsourcing a third-party firm:
- Contemporary global businesses prefer SaaS-based solutions like Multiplier to outsource employee onboarding and payroll team management.
- Such third-party firms offer innovative solutions like automated employment contracts, multilingual contracts, and compliant expansion services per the Belarus labor code.
How Can Multiplier Help?
Using our SaaS-based platform, companies can avail of employee onboarding services like drafting multilingual employment contracts, transferring statutory benefits per the Belarusian employment rules, and managing payroll in Belarus with just the click of a button.